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Russia is building its own kind of sovereign internet — with help from Apple and Google

By William Partlett, Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne
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On September 17, the first day of Russia’s parliamentary elections, Apple and Google agreed to demands from the Russian government to remove a strategic voting app developed by opposition leader Alexei Navalny from the iOS and Android app stores.

Apple then disabled its Private Relay feature (which enhances web browsing privacy) for users in Russia. Google also removed YouTube videos giving advice on how to vote strategically in the elections.

In the past, large…


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